A book I'm writing and illustrating harkening back to the old Grimm's tales about overcoming fear and deceptive appearances.
"The Nightmare Tree" is a short, lyric-poem styled story (think; Dr. Suess meets the Brothers Grimm) that began as a single painting I'd done for a friend as a Christmas gift back in '05. The painting got a lot of positive feedback and people constantly kept asking what the 'story behind the image was'... At the time, there wasn't one. But in 2010, one morning at 4am., I got out of bed and just started writing... After an hour or so, I had a pretty solid rough draft of the story about the nameless boy, the 'slithering shadows' and the 'spider-speckled' tree on the hill that casts them into his bedroom and I've been working on it ever since.
"With dry crimson leaves that dance in the wind. And a dark, crackled trunk, with a black, jagged grin." I've been working on the illustrations over the past two years, when time permits between commissioned works that are my full-time job. This leaves little time to be as productive on the project as I'd like, making progress incredibly slow. The publishers I've spoken with have loved the illustrations and the premise, but really want to 'lighten' the mood of the overall story and sort of 'Disney' it up. I was raised on "The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" series with Stephen Gammell's spine-tingling illustrations and while "The Nightmare Tree" isn't quite that dark or morbid, I want to keep the overall moodiness of the story intact as the instillment of fear and overcoming that fear is the basic premise of the book. So, if I'm going to stick to my plan, I want to self-publish and maintain control of the material and creative production of the project. Down to the kind of paper it's printed on. I want the book to have an antiquated look, despite it's timeless setting.
"The tree slowly leaned forward, crackling and creaking. And spiders spilled from his mouth as he started speaking.."
The goal is to make a book for adults who love children's books and want to share the experience and the wonder of a spooky story and detailed illustrations with their own children. I've found one printing company that offers the meticulous services I'm looking for, but I'm still researching others as well while I continue to work on the book. Self-publishing is an expensive endeavor and being a freelance illustrator/bartender, being able to accrue these funds has been difficult. Hence, my attempt to get some help here on Kickstarter.
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